Chiropractors

I think I might want to marry one. They are just so utterly invaluable, when they truly know what they are doing and how to communicate effectively with the human body.

Tonight, just in my evening stretches, my world was transformed. Things that were hard last night just felt comfortable tonight, my body easily going much deeper into the stretches this time, without strain. My balance is significantly improved. How I feel period has improved significantly.

And all that changed was that one of those special chiropractors did a quick adjustment on my body.

I am extremely grateful.

Post-a-day 2021

Quote of the day

“I think the takeaway quote of the day is, ‘Not even Vanilla Bean.’”

She had said, “If you don’t stretch, all you can do is Vanilla. And I mean you’re stuck with not just Vanilla, but super bland Vanilla… not even Vanilla Bean.”

Folks, stretching the whole body is immensely important, period. It also allows for loads more opportunities in life, especially in unexpected ways, when we keep the body stretched out, strong, and ready for anything.

Be prepared, and Life will meet you all along the way, and in unexpectedly wonderful ways.

Post-a-day 2021

Day 1

Today, I had my first splits stretching session. A friend of mine works in stretching, aerials, and acrobatics, and she is now working with me. I am extremely excited about it. My flexibility has always been mediocre, even as a teenager, and I have been actively pursuing improving it lately. Just over two years ago, I began a 30-day stretch challenge. At the end of it, I took the stretches from it that I had found most valuable for me, and I now do them every day, usually at night before bed. With two years of just that, I have immense differences in my flexibility. I can put my head to my knees, and with my legs and back straight. I can hold my feet straight in front of me with my hands, back straight. And all of those are with minimal warm-up. I can just do them. I never was able to do any of them in the past, even as a kid.

So, now, we are approaching my other true desires: splits and head kicks. I want to be able, on any given day and at any given time, to drop into the splits and also to do a kick to the head of someone around my height (especially when preceded immediately by a kick to the chest [aka double kick that rises]).

We went through a lot today, and it was stressful how hard most of it was for me. However, I love that I am pursuing this and also that I get to do it with someone I love. We took progress photos for me, both to see where I stand compared to two years ago (had a photo on that Day 1, too) and to have a starting point to reference down the road. I have my tasks for every morning (after my regular workout) this week, and then we shall meet again next Tuesday for progress and to do whatever she has planned for my next steps.

I’m cautiously optimistic and delighted. And I can hardly wait!

Plus, I’m excited to get to spend more time with her. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

Karate and Confidence

Yes, this American Karate class is the right place for me the be. Sure, I felt like I nearly pulled a major muscle when I switched to kicks with my left side, and had to acknowledge that I am definitely older than before. However, even with that acknowledgement, I still felt perfect where I was.

I had actually been messaging with someone just before class tonight, discussing how odd the little things have all been regarding getting older. The awesome workout yesterday at the gym – 100 burpees, 50 cal assault bike, and 70 can ski, combined with EMOMs of box jumps and Russian kettle bell swings – left my knee really sore today, limiting what I could do in today’s workout. I have to rest more intentionally, and purposefully rub out certain muscles now, if I want not to fall apart. However, by doing those things intentionally, taking the necessary better care of my body, I have put myself in a position of being in better physical shape and function than I have ever been in life.

I’m not sure if that is ironic or not… avoid falling apart by taking better care, which results in better fitness than ever…

Whatever the case, in the karate class tonight, things were easy to do. They were easy in a way they had not been fifteen and twenty years ago, when last I was doing karate, doing these same movements. Sure, certain movements require additional stretching now, but I am better at them from the get-go. My efforts tonight for these kicks and leg strength practice were calm and easy for me. I knew I could use more stretching next time, so as to reach my true current abilities. And yet, even without that extra stretching, I was doing better than fifteen years ago, as a youth.

I am strong. Physically and mentally, I am very strong now, and in so many ways more than I was back then.

Even on the mental front, I used to be afraid of sparring. I still am now, but I can see it differently than I did back then. I was timid and afraid and ashamed when sparring as a child. I was not comfortable being assertive or aggressive in sparring. And so I almost always lost. And it was very jarring for me with every physical blow I received – they scared me, somehow, and it was more than just a physical blow each time. My cheeks would end up flaming hot with shame and embarrassment as they pulled the gear off my hands and head, and turned me from the square, so the next two kids could enter. I had known that I was better and could have won, but I had also known that my fear stopped me almost every time. And, for that, I was embarrassed.

Tonight, when the instructor mentioned that we would begin sparring next week, while I felt fear and nerves rise immediately within me, I also felt a challenge… a good challenge. Could I – who I am now – take this on with confidence? I understand that I am not aiming to hurt anyone now. No one is aiming to hurt me. It truly is a challenge, purely to see what I can make happen, what I can do when sparring. How much have I prepared myself for the unexpected moves and responses and style of the person facing me?

In dance, I will compete without a second thought in the category called “Jack and Jill”. It means that I will be given a random partner and song, and we will dance together, possibly for the first time ever, and usually in front of a whole ballroom full of people. When I did this in Korea a few years ago, I had only danced very briefly with the person I was assigned. I did not know the song that came on. We were the only couple dancing, with all the other couples seated in chairs behind us, the the ballroom packed with dancers in the front and on the sides, watching us and us alone. I merely looked into his eye, smiled, and had an amazing dance with him. I was scared of messing up, of disappointing everyone looking for a good dance and show, of looking stupid, of tripping, and of dozens of other things. But none of them held me back. My love for dancing guided me forward to put my best, confident, comfortable self forward. And the results were wonderful. We delivered. And we both had a blast doing it.

I am wondering now, if I can bring that same feeling forward into sparring. I am confident and comfortable in my self now. And also in my strength, both mentally and physically. I am in this class, because it fills me with joy and fulfillment, without my even having to ask anything of it. I like doing American karate. Period. I feels right right now. So, let’s bring forth those feelings to the sparring, and just see what I can do. Like the workout at the gym yesterday, I know I could have done more than I did, but I judged for safety and still gave it my best within those bounds. (My knees need care!) But I look forward to doing that same workout again in the future, so that my efforts between now and then can show me improvements that next time. Sparring can be exactly that for me: a benchmark workout. Go in with no idea how I’ll do. Develop baseline expectations after doing it a bit. Work outside of it to prepare for further bouts. Go into the next sparring opportunity with specific goals for improvement from the last time.

Yeah.

I can do this.

And I think I really will enjoy it, and very much.

Post-a-day 2021

Stretchy

Yesterday, sitting on the floor, legs together straight out in front of me, I stretched forward with both arms, grabbed the bottoms of my shoes, dropped my head, and stretched a bit deeper…

… and my head touched my knees.

!!!!!

This was the first time in my adult life that I was able to touch my head to my knees.

And, you know what?

I just tested it again, just now, and it happened again(!).

Wow.

I started this ’30 Days to a Standing Split’ stretch plan a couple months back, and, though it totally failed on the standing split part, I felt the basic stretch routine was a good habit worth keeping in my daily life.

So, to this day, I stretch the same set of stretches every day, usually just before bed.

I’d been noticing general and overall improved flexibility and movability in myself already, like my arms going ‘farther back and up’ when I stretched them behind my back, hands clasped, but I hadn’t had anything clearly and distinctly different until this week.

At last, with this head to knees thing, I have a specific, measurable result from this stretching(!).

So, extra yay!

My teeth are straightening out their kinks, my muscles are rearranging and growing, and my flexibility is improving drastically… I feel like moving around a lot of the time, and I jump up rather easily from any resting period in my day or night… getting out of bed is, somehow, no big deal – I almost bounce on the balls of my feet every morning, as though preparing to do some jumps or something similar…

My body is finally showing up how I want it to be showing up in my life, and I can see quite clearly how it is the result of my taking genuine care of my body, and having true concern for its well-being… it still is not quite like a temple, but it is darn close, and is improving every week… (still working on the whole exfoliation and skin hydration side of things) 😛

Now, if I can just get my clothes and owned items organized and handled (i.e. Marie Kondo the rest of my living space) I think I’ll be set to meet the man of my dreams – I will be being exactly the person I want to be and to whom I want him to be attracted, you know?

And, somehow, that idea is kind of terrifying… like I never actually expected to become that person, that woman… she was always just a dream, and not one even to consider trying to achieve, let alone actually achieving…. but anything is possible.

Message to self:

So, let’s stick with it, Banana, and make things happen.

It is okay to be afraid… it is not okay to settle, even if it is due to fear… stand for your best life and your best self, Banana, in all ways, always.

I love you.

Have a wonderful and blessed and beloved night, World. 😉

P.S. I just realized that the stretching was actually Monday evening, not yesterday… anyway… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Cat stretches

My friend’s cat has been staying with an old flat mate of hers the past few weeks, because my friend’s brother was visiting, and he’s very allergic to cats.

Sunday, though, the brother went home, so the cat was brought home, back to my friend’s place.

The rest of the week, however, my friend is out of town, so I am staying at her place to watch over the cat and her dog.

Since being back at home, my friend said, the cat has been super lovey, getting on top of her to snuggle just about every time she sits down anywhere.

Tonight, as part of my regular stretching routine, I was stretching my legs….

Except that, different from every other night, tonight I have my friend’s cat rubbing all over my legs, my face, my arms and head… every chance he gets, he is either rubbing me or snuggling up and lying down on top of me.

When I was doing one particular stretch on my back, he shoved in between my arms and leg to get to my belly and lie down… on another, that was kind of a lunge-like stretch, he kept walking in circles around me, popping through my legs constantly and putting his head into my face….

Silly cat… stretching… 😛

P.S. Yes, I know this can be a totally iffy scenario of various doubles entendres (it’s French, so I pluralized it in French, because I felt like it), and I made an effort to steer as far away from that as possible, but it still sounded silly to me on the end, so I felt a need to mention that. 😂

Post-a-day 2019

Freudian slip-thoughts

(It kind of makes me think of slipcovers and slip dresses…slip-thoughts)

Do you ever notice yourself making a sort of Freudian slip in your mind?

I know we have them all over the place in our spoken, verbal language, but what about before the spoken part, before the words leave our lips… does it still count then?

Today, while driving to check on my friend’s lovely cat, I was considering a piece of a conversation I’d just had, one which has repeated often recently.

I live in a yoga studio.

When people discover this, they often ask if I do yoga there just all the time.

The answer, of course, is, “No.”

Why would my life be so predictable?… we know me well enough to know things are never quite so simple in my life.

Anyway, when this happens, I tell people how I actually prefer practicing a different type of yoga – there are certainly aspects of this one that I love and that I love doing, but I don’t love doing the typical class of this type of yoga… it’s just not my style when I’m looking for yoga.

Usually, when I’m looking for yoga, I’m looking for stretchy yoga.

And, if I’m looking for stretch practice or help, I think of stretchy yoga.

So the two ideas, yoga and stretch, usually go together for me.

The yoga where I live is a bit difficult to do, at times, and you never know if you’re walking into a really tough class or an easy one.

They’re great – don’t get me wrong – but a work-out is not what I have in mind when I’m thinking about doing some yoga… I’m thinking about stretching… a lot.

So, anyway, I explained this in the conversation, right?

Right.

Thinking about it in the car, afterward, I ended up pausing to focus on traffic and maneuvering through it with care, and I sort of held my place in the conversation analysis by repeating one particular phrase over and over again.

It became a sort of mantra, as often happens when I need to pause a mental analysis briefly.

I continued repeating it rather passively in my mind, not paying much attention to whatever was going on with the words inside my head, trusting that they’ll spark the right memory, whenever I return focus to them…

After a few blocks of driving, I was able to refocus on my inner dialogue.

… And I couldn’t quite figure out what on Earth I was talking about inside my head… it made no sense to me… what could I have been thinking about that gave me this particular thought.

“I always prefer the super sexy…”

What???

I quickly began to analyze how I could mean such a statement… and I also quickly discovered that such a statement is not really true in any general sense – I don’t usually prefer the super sexy anything … unless it’s men around me… in which case, I suppose I might just prefer the super sexy…

… so that could have been what was going on regarding thought process: I was thinking of having sexy men in my life… except that I wasn’t… it didn’t sound familiar at all…

So that had me thinking about that in the first place, I wonder?… where did sexy men come from?

And then it hit me, how I got to such a phrase.

“I always prefer the super stretchy yoga.”

That’s what I had said aloud earlier, and that is the phrase where I had paused in my mental review of the conversation… the phrase that had been out on repeat…

And so, I suppose my relaxed mind made easy associations and relaxations of words, as I passively repeated my bookmarked phrase, as has happened plenty in the past… “yoga” and the following phrase dropped off the end… “stretchy” turned slowly into “sexy”… and there you have it: I always prefer the super sexy.

It had me wonder: is that a Freudian slip of sorts?… Was my subconscious mind telling me something within my conscious mind?

Why bother with speaking aloud, when the brain can handle the whole thing on the inside, right?

I don’t know.

But it did make me laugh a whole bunch, when I discovered what had happened… I mean, how often does yoga turn into sexy stuff, eh? 😛

Haha

Post-a-day 2019